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DIY: Painted Soles

I saw a bunch of posts on Pinterest about re-doing old shoes. There were tutorials for covering shoes in fabric, glitter, comic book paper, leaves, sharpie...just about anything you can think of.  None of them would really work for my boring, sensible, high-heeled shoes. Then I remembered the "Louboutin Manicure"...which lead me to think about the shoes that inspired it. And I thought to myself, "shit, I can do that." Turned out pretty good, and not difficult to do at all. Though...of course I had to do hot pink.

white acrylic paint
pink acrylic paint
sponge brush
paper bowl/plate for pouring paint onto
Mod Podge
painters tape (completely optional. I ended up deciding not to use it.)
newspaper to protect your surface
**not pictured**
sharpie for cleaning up mistakes/smudges
a bottle of ranch dressing to rest your shoe against while you are painting
one beer bottle cap to keep the tip of your shoe off the counter. 

my basic supplies
 Before you paint, clean the sole of your shoe with alcohol and let it dry. Should only take a few minutes.

Paint two coats of white acrylic paint over the soles. Let it dry.

Paint two coats of hot pink (yes, it MUST be hot pink) acrylic paint over the soles. Let it dry for at least an hour.

Paint a thin coat of Mod Podge over the soles of your shoes. Let it dry for 15 minutes, then repeat.  Wait another 30, then add a third coat.
 After this step, before you wear them out, you really should put a clear coat on them. It'll protect the Mod Podge from the elements, and make them far less sticky to the touch. I STILL haven't gotten around to this part. I'm not in a rush, I wear these shoes maybe once a year?

I decided to paint the sides of the soles so that you would get a fine pink line from the side. I bet this would look really cool on a platform heel.

from behind. Giggity.

After all 3 coats of Mod Podge have dried but before the clear coat. Pretty glossy, but you can use a matte clear coat if you don't like that.


  1. This is awesome thanks for the free information!

  2. Can I ask what type of clear coat you used? I recently painted the bottom of some sneakers, but after a month or two, the Mod Podge has made them absolutely sticky and impossible to walk in without getting stuck to the floor.

    1. You *have* to use some sort of clear coat, other than the mod podge. That is my biggest complaint about the mod podge: the constant tackiness of it! I used some krylon/rustoleum clear satin spray, but anything like that will do. Mod podge is also water soluble, so you want to clear-coat it to protect your finish. (confession: I still haven't clear coated mine. I know I know. I lag!)

  3. If the Mod Podge doesn't work as a top layer, and dries clear, what's the point of using it at all? Does it provide something else that I just don't know about? I've never used the stuff before so I have no idea... Thanks!

    1. It would totally work as a top layer...if I weren't going to be standing/walking on it. It acts as a sealant, but I've not had good experience with it when conditions are wet. I've found that it is water-soluable. I would add an acrylic sealant, just to keep the finish glossy and protect it from the elements. Plus, I personally find mod podge to be sticky, and you definitely don't want your shoes to be sticky. A light coat or two or spray sealant eliminates the tackiness.

  4. Because mod podge is water soluble, I deffinantly DO NOT reccommend it for anyone who plans on wearing their shoes on a day to day basis. I used a clear nail polish (I don't mind the little bit of shine though matted is available). I discovered this alternative after getting my own nails done. I thought "well if I can do the laundry, dishes, and then some without my nails chipping, who knows what else nail
    polish can do?" A jewelry sealant would work just as well. Hope this helps and happy crafting!


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